EPA Grants Florida Water Regs Reprieve

EPA has agreed to a one-month extension on imposing controversial water pollution standards for Florida.

It will use the extra time to review public input. The agency’s decision comes on the heels of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to delay the start of the new rules due to voluminous public comment.

“I support new water standards but many Florida residents, municipalities, businesses and farmers have expressed concern about the potential cost of these standards and the validity of the science,” Nelson said about his request for more time for the government to consider public input.

The EPA was poised to impose the new water pollution standards for Florida on Oct. 15. The agency’s decision now means they won’t go into effect until Nov. 15.

The proposed water quality regulations have drawn criticism from many local governments, businesses and agricultural interests in Florida. The rules would impose strict numeric limits on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be present in Florida lakes, rivers, and streams. But some local governments contend the new standards could even apply to drainage ditches and wastewater treatment plant discharges, thereby making them impossible to meet.

Below is text of Nelson’s letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

September 16, 2010

The Honorable Lisa Jackson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson,

As you are aware, in January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to establish numeric nutrient criteria for Florida lakes, flowing waters, and clear springs.

As we have discussed, I share the concerns many Florida residents, municipalities, businesses, and farmers have about the potential cost of compliance with these standards and the validity of the science. I believe you made the right decision to submit the portions of the rule related to downstream values, canals, coastal, and estuarine waters to the EPA Science Advisory Board for peer review and delay finalizing those rules until August 2012. However, I am concerned that the rule for lakes, streams, and springs is still set to be finalized on October 15, 2010.

On August 3, 2010, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comments on new data and options to divide the watershed regions of the state. This publication was followed by a thirty-day public comment period. As I understand it, EPA has received thousands of comments on this rule. Given the large amount of input, I urge you to delay finalizing the rule for lakes, streams, and springs and allow ample time to fully consider the comments.

Clean water is a goal we all share. That is why it is imperative that this regulation is finalized in a deliberative manner, utilizing sound science and considering the effects of implementation. Rushing to finalize the rule could result in further uncertainty and unnecessary economic hardship for municipal governments and Florida industry.

I look forward to your response and thank you in advance for your efforts to ensure that the concerns of Floridians are fully considered when deciding how to finalize and implement this rule.

Bill Nelson

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

Insect & Disease UpdateAdditional Aid Coming For Florida Citrus Growers Gouged…
September 17, 2014
Through USDA’s Tree Assistance Program, eligible growers can cash in on cost share for diseased tree removal and replanting. Read More
FruitsFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Seeks Fresh A…
September 17, 2014
New partnership bolsters Fresh From Florida program. Read More
CitrusFDA Announces Cooperative Agreement To Implement Nation…
September 17, 2014
Agreement will provide information to help plan and carry out the produce safety rule in partnership with state regulatory agencies. Read More
NutsAchieving A Super-Premium Walnut Crop
September 17, 2014
What are the best ways to get high quality walnuts that are light in color and fully developed? Read these 8 harvest best practices to find out. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Highly Dependent On Groundwater
September 17, 2014
Fully 87% of large growers use groundwater to irrigate their trees. Read More
NutsWarm Winter And Drought Casting Doubt On Pistachio Harv…
September 17, 2014
Though Rabobank report says that one billion pounds still attainable by 2019. Read More
Crop ProtectionBagrada Bug On The Move In California
September 16, 2014
Find out more on management tactics and what counties are impacted by this invasive pest. Read More
Cucurbits14 Stand-Out Melon Varieties [Slideshow]
September 15, 2014
Browse the slideshow below for information on these exceptional melon varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Grower Achievement AwardView Highlights From The 2014 United Fresh Washington P…
September 15, 2014
Browse this slideshow to view photos from the 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, including pictures of this year’s Grower Read More
Apples & PearsCanneries Hope To Encourage Growers To Grow Pears For P…
September 15, 2014
Higher wholesale prices offered as means to boost canning pear acres. Read More
FruitsDeadline Nearing For Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistanc…
September 15, 2014
Fruit growers who suffered losses due to frost or freeze in 2012 could be eligible for assistance through USDA’S Farm Service Agency. Read More
BerriesBotrytis Gray Mold Pressure Increasing With Humid Weath…
September 15, 2014
Michigan State University researcher offers tips to reduce the spread of spores. Read More
Fruits5 Mistakes You May Be Making With Your Orchard’s …
September 15, 2014
These deadly sins may be hurting your customers’ experience — and costing you money. Read More
FruitsSuccess And The Not-Top-100 Grower [Opinion]
September 15, 2014
Innovation isn't only happening at the top. Some of the most interesting ideas in the fruit industry are being executed by small growers. Read More
Apples & PearsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top Appl…
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
NutsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top Nut …
September 13, 2014
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts grown in California make up the crops featured in this portion of the Top 100 Report. Read More
FruitsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top 100 …
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
Stone FruitAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014 Top Ston…
September 13, 2014
This year’s Top 100 Report features the 25 largest stone fruit growers in the country. Read More